Apple has finally released iOS 5, and it comes with a host of features that will surely put smiles on the faces of many iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners. Here are some of the highlights of iOS 5 that are worth mentioning.
Perhaps the most welcome feature of iOS 5 is the addition of over-the-air software updates. This convenience can also be used to active devices. Forget about having to connect your Apple device to a computer to receive updates, as that is a now thing of the past.
Enhanced Safari Browsing
Apple has integrated its Reader feature to the mobile Safari browser in iOS 5. Its main function is to provide improved readability of online articles. Since so many websites differ in format, it is nice to have the option to view articles in a streamlined RSS-like manner. Of course, some sacrifices come with the option, so certain users may find Reader to be too limiting. Regardless, itís a solid iOS 5 addition.
Other Safari enhancements of note begin with the ability to email an entire pageís text in Safari. Web pages can be added to special Reading Lists for future use. Also, iPad users can now enjoy tabbed browsing on their tablets.
The layout of notifications in iOS 5 has been improved with a consolidated Notification Center. Similar in format to Android, Apple users will now be able to see all of their important notifications in one place. Missed calls, new messages, updates, and other important info can be seen in an organized manner, and managing those notifications is simple as well. This is a great improvement over the previous format of irritating pop-up menus.
Mail has received attention in iOS 5, which should make Appleís devices even more attractive for sending correspondence to others. Business users are sure to make use of the new flagging feature that lets them mark certain emails as important. Mail search now includes text within a message instead of just the subject, sender, or recipient. Throw in the ability to drag addresses when sending a message, improved control over indents, and rich text formatting, and you can see that Apple has at least tried to make its devices more mail-friendly with iOS 5.
Instant Messaging with iMessage
iMessage is Appleís answer to the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service. Itís free, works on all iOS 5 devices, and gives Apple users another way to communicate with others. With iMessage, users can partake in unlimited text messaging and group messaging. The service works well with sharing photos and videos too. Other iMessage perks include secure encryption, a real-time indicator to show when someone is typing a message, delivery/sent receipts, and more.
The introduction of iOS 5 means a better camera app. Apple added a host of features to give its cameras more of a point-and-shoot feel. The camera can now be accessed via a lock screen shortcut, and the volume control can be used to snap photos too. If you are worried about outsiders getting access to your photos, donít worry, as the lock screen bypass only allows you to take photos.
Users can enable autofocus and tweak exposure with ease, plus enjoy the use of pinch to zoom functionality and grid lines within the camera app. Cropping photos is extremely simple, as is rotating them. Thereís also a quick color correction tool thatís enabled with a single tap, redeye reduction, and more.
Improved Twitter Integration
The immense popularity of Twitter has not gone unnoticed, as Apple has included more features related to the social network in iOS 5. Users can now publish new tweets directly from several of Appleís main apps, including Maps and Safari. Syncing Twitter with the contacts list is now an option as well. Photos can be posted directly to Twitter from the camera app or image gallery, so users wonít have to switch between apps anymore for such functionality.
If you have a hectic daily schedule and need some help wading through the madness, the introduction of the Reminders app with iOS 5 should be music to your ears. Reminders is a rather basic app that allows you to create various task lists. Not only can you add dates for your tasks, but you can also separate them into categories according to location. The integrated GPS in Apple devices makes this possible. For instance, if you set a reminder to tell you to pick up something when you leave a friendís house, the app will use the GPS to detect when you leave and subsequently send you a push notification as the reminder. Likewise, you can set a reminder to kick in when you arrive at a location as well.
Flexibility with Directions through Alternate Routes
Unless you live in a small town, getting from place to place can be a hassle due to traffic construction, and other daily obstacles. For this reason, itís always wise to have alternate routes as a backup plan. iOS 5 comes with the Alternate Routes feature which gives you two alternate routes as options to your main route in the Map app.
Locate Friends with Ease
If stalking is your thing, the new Find My Friends app is probably right up your alley. Luckily, stalking can be circumvented through the app since it allows users to designate when they want it to stop tracking their locations. Find My Friends shows a map overview of where your family and friends are in real-time once they agree to share their geographical data. The feature is exclusive to iOS 5 and should become a hit with the social crowd.
The Newsstand app is sure to be welcomed with open arms by virtual magazine lovers. It works similar to the iBooks app and gives readers the ability to access all of their magazine subscriptions in one place. As new issues become available, they get sent in the background to the user, taking all of the manual work out of the process. iPad owners will probably get the most use out of this app due to their deviceís larger display thatís ideal for magazines and the like.
These are just some of the wonderful new features that iOS 5 provides. There are many more, but with the ones presented, itís easy to see why so many Apple fans were anxious for the latest edition of the operating systemís release.
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